Junior Alex Harden scored 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out six assists to lead the Wichita State women's basketball team past Loyola 65-50 on Sunday afternoon inside Charles Koch Arena. It was the team's 19th consecutive win on the season.
Jamillah Bonner scored 15 points, shooting 6-for-12 from the floor and had three steals. Michaela Dapprich also scored in double-figures with 11 points.
The Shockers fell behind 9-0 early and a pair of Jamillah Bonner free throws at the 16:13 mark got the scoring started. Harden hit the first field-goal for Wichita State with 13:10 remaining in the first half to put the score at 12-4 Loyola. Jamillah Bonner then further cut into the lead with a layup off a pass from Harden.
Michelle Price hit two free throws to give Wichita State its first lead of the game, 18-17, at the 6:40 mark. One minuted later, Loyola went on a 6-0 run, before Harden connected on an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the Rambler lead to 26-23 with a little more than three minutes remaining in the half.
Michaela Dapprich hit a layup off a pass from Harden with 11 seconds remaining in the first 20 minutes to put the Shockers down one going into the locker room.
Wichita State, down 30-29 and trailing at halftime for only the second time all season, was led in scoring by Harden who scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting and handed out four assists. As a team, the Shockers shot 11-for-37 (.297) in the first 20 minutes and forced 13 Rambler turnovers.
Alie Decker hit a three-pointer early in the second half to tie the score at 32, and a pull-up jumper from Bonner at the free-throw line gave the Shockers a 34-32 advantage at the 17:38 mark. Bonner then connected on a shot from behind the arc to start a 12-2 run for Wichita State. Harden's layup at the 13:24 mark capped the run and put the Shockers up 41-34.
Harden continued to take over for Wichita State, hitting back-to-back jumpers, the last one to put her team up 49-37 at the 8:35 mark. Four minutes later, the junior guard connected on another two-point jumper and then a three on next possession that saw the Shocker pull ahead by 13, 56-43. A pair of Kelsey Jacobs free throws gave Wichita State its biggest lead of the game 16, 61-45 and they went on to win.
The Shockers shot 24-for-63 (.381) for the game and held the Ramblers to 16-of-46 (.348) from the field. The Wichita State defense forced 19 turnovers, had nine steals and blocked six shots.
Wichita State will now hit the road for a game against Drake on Fri. Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.